HELP! My Kid Will Scream if I Limit His Screen Time!

How to Break Your Kids' Addiction to Screen Time

What if a parent realizes the importance of limiting screen time for kids, and admits she didn't take measures to set up boundaries at home? Is it too late? I say, not at all, but there are two things the parent must take into consideration: implementing the limitations gradually and being prepared to deal with challenging behavior that may result from the change in boundaries.

Why Screen Time is Bad for Kids
Experts agree that too much screen time is bad for kids for two reasons: it affects the frontal lobe of the brain and it can become a digital addiction. The frontal lobe is in constant construction until around the age of 25 is responsible for many important cognitive skills, such as judgment and managing emotions, both things we need our youth to develop effectively and on time, and at the very least to keep themselves and others safe.

According to the publication Psychology Today, excessive screen time damages brain function,…

Helping Children Deal with Tragedy in the News

Preschoolers and young school-aged children easily can be frightened by images of disasters.  They live in a world somewhere between reality and fantasy, and often have difficulty distinguishing between the two. They also have not yet developed their full understanding of mortality, or whether something on television is far away or close by.  Here are some guidelines for handling children’s exposure to devastating events in the news.   

Limit Their Exposure.  This is a good time to fall back on effectively managing their access to the television by limiting the amount of time they watch it.  If you have to watch it yourself, get your children involved in another activity at that time.  There are numerous university studies that confirm the high amount of violence on television and the effects on children.  Some of these effects include desensitization to the pain and suffering of others, more fearfulness in general, and increased aggressiveness toward others.   

Explain It to Them.  If …

Should Playtime Be Controlled?

A grandparent posted a comment on one of my social media channels. She said, "My dear grandchildren earn their toys and playtime and screen time with tickets. X number required for X activity or toy. Tickets taken away for sass or disobedience. Works like a charm. Helps kids learn to police themselves."
My response to her was this: "I'm delighted to hear that you found something that works for you with managing screen time, good for you. Screen time should be kept to no more that 30 - 60 mins. per day for young children. I am concerned however, that you are controlling healthy playtime. It is my opinion that playtime should be given automatically to children, as is oxygen and healthy food. Healthy, non screentime play is critical to a child's development and should not be controlled or withheld. Toys on the other hand, must be controlled because many children have too many. Too many toys can lead to anxiety and chaos."
"My children could only keep the n…


14 DAYS OF TIPS FOR DEMONSTRATING LOVE TO YOUR CHILD DAY 14: COMPOSE A POEM FOR YOUR CHILD – Compose a poem about your child or describing how much you love her. Print if off on special preprinted paper with a border that can be purchased at office supply stores. Frame it and hang it on your child’s bedroom wall. You could even include the child’s picture or her foot or handprints if you had them done earlier. Sign it and read it to her nightly.


14 DAYS OF TIPS FOR DEMONSTRATING LOVE TO YOUR CHILD DAY 13 FIND OUT WHAT MAKES THEM FEEL LOVED – Ask your child what he likes others to do to or for him that makes him feel loved. Dr. Gary Chapman, in his book THE FIVE LOVE LANGUAGES OF CHILDREN (Northfield Publishing, 1997), explains how each individual feels loved in different ways; receiving gifts, hearing words of affirmation, acts of kindness, or touch. Ask your child which one makes him feel loved.


14 DAYS OF TIPS FOR DEMONSTRATING LOVE TO YOUR CHILD DAY 12: MAILBOXES – In a family meeting have everyone make and decorate a mailbox using any household craft items. On slips of paper, have everyone write short love notes to everyone at the table as a practice run and then insert them in the appropriate mailboxes. Have everyone hang their mailboxes on their bedroom door knobs for accepting mail whenever someone desires to write a note.


14 DAYS OF TIPS FOR DEMONSTRATING LOVE TO YOUR CHILD DAY 11: SHARE HOW YOU LOVE YOURSELF – Create teachable moments with your child when they are open to learning, by explaining (and demonstrating) what you do to love yourself. This might be a tough exercise for some, but teaching a child to love himself starts by setting a healthy example they can see.